Here are 5 events to catch during the Pride Portland festival

Here’s your TGIF edition of The Express Portland newsletter. There are so many cool things to do in the city this weekend and through through the coming week.

If you missed our rundown of the Old Port Festival, which is Sunday, you can find it in last night’s newsletter. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe by texting PORTLAND to 66866 or follow the link at the bottom of this newsletter, and we’ll make sure you stay plugged in.

And here’s a handy Old Port Festival map that you can keep on your smartphone for Sunday.

But the Old Port Festival is far from the only cool thing going on, which brings us to…

What we’re talking about

Pride Portland starts tonight — There are a lot of events taking place between tonight and June 18, and you can see the full list of activities on the Pride website. Here are a few we recommend putting in your planner:

  • Pride night for the Portland Sea Dogs game at Hadlock Field, tomorrow night at 6 p.m.
  • On Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., the Portland Public Library will host a showing of a documentary film about iconic LGBTQIA activist Marsha P. Johnson, followed by a discussion with Gia Drew of EqualityMaine.
  • The EqualityMaine sunset cruise around the Casco Bay islands is Thursday night, and you’re encouraged to attend in your “most creative nautical attire.” There will be prizes. 21-plus, only. Tickets are $30, and there’s limited space.
  • The Pride parade, of course. Next Saturday, June 17, at noon. Parade route can be found here.
  • Party on Peaks Island the last day of the festival, June 18. Barbecue and dancing from noon to 4 p.m. at the Inn on Peaks Island. This is another 21-plus event, and tickets are $5.

MaineHealth advances plan to consolidate member hospitals — This comes in from the Sun Journal’s Lindsay Tice, who reports that the proposal has the potential to affect hundreds of thousands of Mainers who seek medical care through the network’s 10 hospital groups, including those with facilities in Portland, Norway and Farmington, among others. If the plan is ultimately approved in the fall, those 10 hospital groups would relinquish budget oversight and governing authority to the Portland-based MaineHealth board.

If Lewiston and Auburn merge to become one city, the new city’s name will be…   Lewiston-Auburn. I know, right? It’s a bold rebranding. The other finalist was “Great Falls,” according to local CBS affiliate, WGME. More an 1,000 suggestions were submitted by the local public, which will get a chance to vote on whether to officially merge into a single city later this year.

A paddle across Highland Lake is worth the wait in traffic — It’s the weekend. The BDN’s Troy R. Bennett is your guide for this relaxing canoe or kayak destination not far from the city. You just have to be a little patient headed down Route 302 to get there.

There was a bomb threat at L.L. Bean — Portland police are helping investigate a fire alarm and suspicious note claiming an explosive had been left at the iconic Maine company’s manufacturing facility in Brunswick. A search of the building turned up no bomb, but authorities are continuing to look into the threatening letter.

Tea and Fashion at the Tate House — Tate House Museum will be hosting a Colonial Tea in the gardens of the museum on Sunday, June 11 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event on the grounds overlooking the Stroudwater River will include hot and cold tea from Nellie’s Tea of South Portland. Admission costs $16 and reservations can be made by emailing

Tweet of the day

From retired Portland firefighter @Efletch20:

The Big Idea

Are Maine cities really all that economically healthy? — Matt Gagnon, CEO of the think tank Maine Heritage Policy Center, points out that while we celebrate our cities like Portland and Bangor as economic engines, the numbers say they’re barely growing or even shrinking. Gagnon points out that even small cities which were once very similar to Portland and Bangor – such as Fargo, North Dakota; Jacksonville, North Carolina; and Madera, California – have doubled in size over the last few decades, while Maine’s cities have been struggled to grow.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at, or tweet @JZBleiberg or @SethKoenig.

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